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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was competition.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has made and continues to make sure that we have an employment insurance program in place to make sure that any workers in this country who have difficulty are taken care of.

We have made and will continue to make sure that we have the proper programs, training and other things that are needed for unemployed people in this country.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's stated goal is to increase the performance of federal departments by 10% by 2005. That means that a mere 60% of Canadians would be satisfied with the performance of Canada employment centres, a D-minus instead of an F.

Why is the government content with low targets and bottom rung service for unemployed Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

The government has never said, Mr. Speaker, that there is not room for improvement. We are always striving to make sure that we provide what is needed for the people in this country.

There are objectives to meet and we will meet them.

Human RightsOral Question Period

February 25th, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in October 2001, an Islamic court in northern Nigeria sentenced Safiya Husseini to death by stoning for having sexual relations out of wedlock.

Last week a protest was held in Montreal to bring attention to this unacceptable violation of human rights.

Could the Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa tell the House what the Government of Canada is doing to prevent her execution?

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)

Mr. Speaker, last week, I expressed Canada's concerns with respect to this execution.

On Thursday, I met with Nigeria's Minister of Information. I told him of our concerns. I gave him a copy of Hansard , showing the views expressed in the House, as well as a copy of the petition tabled by the member for Burnaby--Douglas. The Nigerian minister assured me that an appeal will be heard on March 18 and that Nigeria will honour its human rights obligations.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the $240 billion farm bill currently before the U.S. congress will include subsidies for pulse crops. In order to harvest a cheque from the U.S. government, farmers south of the border will massively overproduce, killing the pulse industry in western Canada.

At the same time, this government is proposing a one size fits all safety net for Canada that will actually cut our farm safety net funding. Canadian farmers cannot survive continued attacks from their own government as well as foreign governments.

How will the minister of agriculture protect our pulse industry from these new subsidies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is drawing a conclusion on the U.S. farm bill before it is completed.

However, I have certainly expressed our concerns to my counterpart in the U.S. as has our ambassador in Washington, as I have to the U.S. ambassador here.

We are working with the provinces and with the industry to address all the issues that we need to address in the realities of agriculture today. Included in that is the reorganization of the emphasis within the research department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to specifically address some of the concerns of the pulse industry.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the taxpayer funded $680 million long gun registry with no tangible benefit is about to be privatized by the Liberal government.

On pain of criminal charges, gun owners must provide the government with sensitive information that could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. Many, including the government's own privacy commissioner, have expressed grave concerns about this privatization plan.

Could the Minister of Justice tell Canadians what safeguards will be implemented to ensure the security of this personal information and just how this is going to be a savings for taxpayers?

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Basically, Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about here is outsourcing. The aim and goal is to make sure that we will keep offering the Canadian population very good services, and of course privacy concerns will be addressed and taken care of.

Highway InfrastructuresOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said that any surplus would be used to pay off the debt. However, if the government wants to fulfill all the promises made by its candidates during the last election campaign, the current amount of $108 million for highways is clearly insufficient.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister intend to fulfill the promises and commitments made by his colleagues and, consequently, will he allocate any surpluses to highways?

Highway InfrastructuresOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the fiscal plan is based on a sound foundation.

We are confident that such large projects are necessary for a strategic program and that, during the first few years, expenditures will be more or less of the magnitude anticipated by the Minister of Finance.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituency is home to many people displaced by the conflict in Sri Lanka. For over 20 years Sri Lanka has been racked by a bloody civil war pitting the government of Sri Lanka against the Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

On Friday, the government of Norway announced that the leader of the Tamil Tigers and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka had signed a formal cessation of hostilities, paving the way for face to face peace talks.

What are the views of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this breakthrough? Is Canada willing to offer any assistance to the parties? Can my constituents hope for peace?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question, which interests hundreds of thousands of Canadians. We welcome the peace initiative in Sri Lanka and we welcome the initiative of the government of Norway.

I want to tell the House that we will do everything we can in this country to ensure that there is a lasting peace in Sri Lanka which will respond to the legitimate concerns of all citizens of that country.

I am proud of the fact that CIDA has engaged in a program in Sri Lanka over the last couple of years searching to find solutions to conflict resolution, solutions to federalism. In fact, the Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification was made a part of that team. We are proud of our efforts to date and we will continue those efforts.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Prime Minister. The minister of agriculture is planning a trip to Washington next month but he will get a cold reception. Senator Kent Conrad, chair of the U.S. senate finance committee, has written a letter to the president to protest the minister's visit.

The agriculture minister simply does not have the clout to protect the Canadian interest in the United States. That job belongs to the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister seems to be too busy to deal with Canada-U.S. trade issues. Just ask the softwood lumber workers.

Will the Prime Minister take time out of his globetrotting to lead an agriculture mission to Washington and personally lead the fight against rising U.S. subsidies?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am always defending the interests of the farmers when I meet with the president of the United States. It is always on the agenda.

I say that it is counter to their interests to keep subsidizing the way they are. They are depressing the prices internationally and it is hurting farmers not only in Canada but elsewhere.

However, I am surprised at the beginning of the hon. member's question. Let me put it this way: I think he was wrong. If Senator Conrad said that, it is because he is afraid that my minister of agriculture is very competent.

Highway InfrastructuresOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, if, after March 31, the government wants to allocate part of the year end surpluses to something other than the debt, it must pass a bill, otherwise it will be too late.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister intend to introduce a bill to recover part of the surpluses and allocate them to the highway infrastructure program, so as to fulfill the Liberal promises made during the election campaign?

Highway InfrastructuresOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the government will pay off part of the debt as it has done in the past, including $17 billion last year. The interest saved on the reduced debt will be used for these infrastructure projects.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's commitment to the Kyoto accord has come under continued attack from Premiers Campbell and Klein yet the Liberal government has done nothing to counter these baseless attacks.

Does the industry minister have any concrete data on what the real cost would be to Canadian industry of not proceeding with our Kyoto commitment to reduce those harmful emissions? If he does have that data, has he given it to the environment minister and will he share it with the House today?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the opposition parties talk like the cost of acting is something that we know, and we do not know, quite frankly. We are still working it out.

However, what is more relevant is what is the cost of not acting. To date, Canadians currently spend over $1 billion per month managing the effects of increasing extreme weather. Climate change is something the government takes very seriously.

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice said that the government would outsource the information on the gun registry. Perhaps he should give it back to the Minister of Industry who invented this debacle.

The Minister of Justice is a smart man. Could he answer a simple question: How will this work and how will it save taxpayers money?

Gun RegistryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are proud of the gun legislation in Canada. It is a question of privilege, it is not a right. We are a different society. We are pleased with what we have done.

The gun registry works well. Licensing has been terminated. At this point in time we are proceeding with registration. Indeed, in order to provide good service to the population we are outsourcing as we have done with other departments. Privacy concerns will also be addressed.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions.

2002 Winter OlympicsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first group of men and women of the most successful Canadian Winter Olympic team is returning home today. For all Canadians the last two weeks in Salt Lake City have been unforgettable. It was marvellous and incredible to see the class of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

It was also marvellous to watch Marc Gagnon's incredible speed and the fact that Catriona Le May Doan proved wrong that it is impossible to be the flag bearer and win a gold medal.

The other day the women's hockey team won. It was unbelievable.

Yesterday the nation stood still. I do not know how many millions of people were watching the game but it was marvellous. Winning this game was very important because for the first time in 50 years our hockey team was coming back to Canada with a gold medal.

These are truly moments that we will never forget, seeing all these people who come from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the South to the North Pole, together on the ice.

They were skating, carrying the Canadian flag, shoulder to shoulder, people of French origin, British origin, many first and second generation Canadians, singing the national anthem and waving Canadian flags. All Canadians were so proud. The streets of Canada were filled with people who were joyful. There were probably not many homes in Canada that were not celebrating.

It was a day of great fraternity and solidarity, seeing these young men and women who have spent years preparing themselves, who wanted to be the best and who firmly believed that when you set your mind to it, you can do it. They have all overcome tremendous obstacles. Often, back home, people made fun of these athletes, because they were different.

I know some of these young people who took part in speed skating a few years ago, like Gaetan Boucher. People used to wonder what he was doing, as he was the only one in his sport. Now, in the space of ten years, Canadians dominate speed skating, because of pioneers like him. Yesterday was a day of glory.

Yesterday was a great day for all Canadians. It was a day of pride, a day of achievement, a day of brotherhood and a day where we stood side by side singing O Canada and being proud to be Canadian.

2002 Winter OlympicsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I join the Prime Minister in congratulating Team Canada, the on ice and snow version. Canada's men's and women's hockey teams did us proud in bringing the gold back to Canada. Overall this was Canada's most successful winter games.

Canadians will never forget the amazing success of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier who accepted silver with class and without complaint. The whole world knew that they deserved gold that they eventually won.

We will never forget Marc Gagnon and Catriona LeMay Doan who were golden in speed skating; Clara Hughes, the first Canadian to win medals in both the winter and summer games; Haley Wickenheiser, who led our women's hockey team to victory; and so many other Olympians.

We will always remember Sakic, Lemieux, Iginla, Yzerman, Fleury, that great goaltender Brodeur, and the rest of the star-studded men's hockey team ably led by Pat Quinn and Wayne Gretzky. They brought back to Canada, after 50 years, what is rightfully ours. I hope the Prime Minister is sitting here 50 years from now waiting for the next one, maybe on the opposite side.

Yesterday's event was probably the greatest sporting moment in Canadian history since Paul Henderson scored his famous goal against the Soviet Union 30 years ago.

Canadians are a winter people, living in a land that Voltaire called quelques arpents de neige, a few acres of snow, and Bob and Doug McKenzie called the great white north. The ice and snow of a Canadian winter cannot chill our hearts and spirits for we have learned how to warm ourselves with the thrill of winter sports.

The only thing that could possibly surpass the thrill of these games would be to repeat these same successes again on home ice so to speak at the Vancouver Whistler Olympic Games of 2010.

2002 Winter OlympicsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games are over and several images come to mind.

Like the Prime Minister, I would like to congratulate all the athletes for their hard work and their determination, not just those who made it to the podium. We should extend our congratulations to the athletes from all over the world we have not heard about because they did not win, as they did not get to hear their national anthem and are going back home in anonymity.

Our thoughts are with their families, their friends and all those who supported them while they were working hard and dreaming about stepping onto the podium, a goal they have not been able to reach. What we should bear in mind is that thousands of young athletes throughout the world are using sport to push their limits and do their best.

Congratulations to all the winners, of course, to whom victory brings honour, glory and fame. But let us also be proud of the efforts made by the athletes who did not win and are coming back home a bit disappointed. Let us show them that their hard work makes their families, their friends and their communities very proud. These are the people for whom it is important to invest time and money in amateur sport.